Canada Protection Plan: Software Developer

I wrote up a posting for Canada Protection Plan, a client, who’s looking to start building an in-house software development team.

I won’t give it the full review treatment because I can’t be unbiased about a posting I wrote.  I will comment a little on the pros and cons, but you should read the posting for yourself and form your own opinion.

The Good
CPP’s been a client of mine for more than a year now, and they’re a great client.  I can’t swear that the experience of being an employee will be exactly the same, but I’m inclined to believe it’s close enough that this will be a pretty decent place to work.

They’re building new products and using decent technology to do so.  As the first permanent technical employee, you might have the chance to really shape the technology practice here.

I’m a part of the current team, and I can vouch for the two others you’ll be working with initially.  It’s a good team, and that’s something you won’t find everywhere.

What’s Missing
We’re considering people with a wide range of experiences, so I can’t be too specific about compensation — that’ll probably depend on you. I’ve tried to talk about the company, the projects, the challenge and opportunity involved, and the team, but there’s only so much I can write without making it a massive posting. If you apply to the job, I encourage you to think about the things I might not have already talked about, and ask, and I’ll be as candid as I can.

The Bad
It’s going to be a pretty quiet team at first.  There’s already three of us working on software for CPP, but we’re consultants, we’re not onsite every day, and so you won’t be immediately surrounded by tons of other software developers.  Some people would have trouble with that.  I’m expecting that the team will grow, and that the first employee will be a key member in recruiting the rest of the team, but for the first little while you’ll probably need to be comfortable with having days where you’re the only software developer onsite.

The location is pretty good for me, since I live in the east end of Toronto and I can drive there quickly. Another consultant I’m working with lives on the waterfront and can get there in ten minutes by car.  If you’re mid-town near the Yonge line, I imagine the shuttlebus makes the trip palatable, although I haven’t tried that myself.  On the other hand, if you’re coming from the west end, or fighting through a ton of traffic to get to the CPP office, it might not be your cup of tea.

There’s three restaurants in or very near the building, as well as a GoodLife fitness.  There’s free parking.  If you’re willing to walk a little, there’s a grocery store, a few more restaurants and the Science Centre (if you have children and a stay-at-home partner, that might be appealing, as it is for me).  On the other hand, there aren’t a pile of restaurants around or very very close, so you’ll probably end up bringing lunch and eating in the cafe.  Depending on your perspective, that might be a good thing or a bad one.

The goal here is to get someone who can really own these applications and the practice of software development for CPP.  Someone who’s in it for the long haul, at least by comparison to the consultants already building software for CPP.  We don’t expect you to make any guarantees, of course, but if you’re not interested in being that person, then it’s probably not going to work.

In Conclusion
CPP needs to build an in-house software development team.  If you’re interested in being the first member of that team and taking increasing ownership of software at a growing insurance company, this might be a good fit for you.

I wrote the job posting.  CPP is a client of mine.  If you were to be hired in this position, you’d be working with me.  As a result, assume that I’m somewhat biased about the role, and be sure that you do your due diligence.  Of course, you should do that with every position.


2 Responses to Canada Protection Plan: Software Developer

  1. Andrei says:

    When you say “CPP”, do you mean the “CPPIB”?

  2. Andrei says:

    Silly me. Of course not. It’s the insurance company with the name that’s meant to subtly suggest a resemblance to the CPPIB, as it targets seniors, and most seniors receive CPP and thus are accustomed to seeing the acronym “CPP”.

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